Edward Snowden, in his new newsletter, makes the case that self-censorship — the suppression of ideas that never see the light of day — is the most dangerous kind.
Without mentioning it explicitly, I think he’s talking about cancel culture and deplatforming. He has a point, but the modern western world is very different from the Soviet examples which he gives.
(Bonus points for his mention of Michel De Montaigne’s best friend, Étienne de La Boétie, who died far too young.)
Unlike in Kiš’s milieu, or in contemporary North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, the coercive apparatus doesn’t have to be the secret police knocking at the door. For fear of losing a job, or of losing an admission to school, or of losing the right to live in the country of your birth, or merely of social ostracism, many of today’s best minds in so-called free, democratic states have stopped trying to say what they think and feel and have fallen silent. That, or they adopt the party-line of whatever party they would like to be invited to — whatever party their livelihoods depend on.Such is the trickle-down effect of the institutional exploitation of the internet, of corporate algorithms that thrive on controversy and division: the degradation of the soul as a source of profit — and power